Getting Gritty in the City

Hm. Today is the day where I really get to walk around, get down and dirty with the city and see where the "real" (poor) Shanghainese reside, and explore the French Concessions, where some of Shanghai's first foreign (occupied) history took place.

I've been here for some 2.5 days now, and haven't yet eaten where I really want to eat. I've had enough of the lavish restaurants that only foreigners (and people on expense accounts) can afford, even though it's just $10-$15USD a meal. I want the real stuff: some random gritty little place where the locals gather for really cheap grub at fantastic value. (Try 8 RMB for 10 dumplings at one of the more famous dumpling joints, albeit in an overly-touristy area.)

I'm all ready to get my backpacking on,
as soon as I take care of this mild case of food poisoning.


Kevin said...

yeah, I went to a little 小龍包 place off 南京路 (where no cars are allowed). It was in one of the side streets, maybe 1/3 - 1/2 block in. Cheap cheap and good good.

Ben said...

I made a booboo: the most famous dumpling joint in the city was selling their take-out dumplings for 8 RMB ($1USD) per "basket", and there's SIXTEEN dumplings in that basket! Tasty.

Contrast that to the dinner I just had at Bund 18's "Tan Wai Lo" which ran us 200 RMB ($25USD) per person for six people. Good food, still, though, but the value just ain't there.

Anyway, as my tour of Shanghai comes to an end, my stopover in Hong Kong is just on the cusp. Transition happens tomorrow afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm... 小龍包...


Rose said...

I'm so envious Benben, what I would do for some authentic 小龍包!!! I love 'ton bao' too (liquid buns).

Ben said...

Yeah, that place 南翔 (Nanxiang Dumpling House) is really a tourist trap, but it had authentic origins. Now it's just all these tourists lining up for it. My Taiwanese friends gave it reviews of between "really bad" to "not that good", and certainly not as good as 頂泰豐 (Din Tai Fung) in Taiwan.

My conclusion after a tasty 16 is that it's not as delicately made as DTF, but if there were a NanXiang in Taiwan, I'd be a loyal customer too. DTF is pricey, after all.